DUMMY

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Nudity        

Release Date: September 12, 2003

Starring: Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Illeana Douglas, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Walter, Ron Leibman, and Jared Harris

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Dr. Tom
Snyder There's something
inherently hilarious yet very
spooky about a person who
makes their living as a
ventriloquist, especially
someone who decides to use a
life-like wooden dummy with
human features. DUMMY,
starring Oscar-winning actor
Adrien Brody of THE PIANIST,
often milks this schizophrenic
quality for all its worth,
even though it decidedly
favors the comical undertones
of its subject matter. Brody
plays 28-year-old Steven
Schoichet, a white collar
Jewish worker still living
with his parents in New York
who suddenly quits his job to
pursue his desire to become a
ventriloquist. His Jewish
parents take all this in
stride. His mom doesn't bat an
eye, continually thrusting
food in his face or yelling at
him if he'd like a sandwich
while he practices with his
dummy. His retired father,
meanwhile, is self-absorbed in
building scale models of
battleships. Only his sister
Heidi, a wedding planner,
finds Steven's fascination
with ventriloquism disturbed
and creepy. Later, the movie
reveals that Heidi's desires
to be a professional singer
were squashed by their mother,
who undermined Heidi's
desires, calling them
unrealistic. Steven gets help
from a pretty unemployment
bureaucrat, Lorena. She finds
Steven a manager and his first
ventriloquist job, in front of
a small group of shut-in
senior citizens. Steven's
friend from high school, a
crazy, foul-mouthed punk
rocker named Fanny, pushes
Steven out of his shell. He
begins a tentative
relationship with Lorena, who
happens to be the mother of a
cute little girl, whose father
got killed before Lorena and
he could marry. Both Lorena
and her daughter are charmed
by Steven and his growing
rapport with his nameless
dummy. Steven, it turns out,
actually has a fine-tuned
sense of humor that gets
stronger as the movie goes
along. When Heidi tells
Steven's friend Fanny that the
Jewish wedding she's planning
requires a Yiddish klezmer
band, Fanny jumps at the
chance for a gig and begins
intensely studying the jazzy,
frenetic style of music with
her band. Meanwhile, Lorena is
having second thoughts about
her growing relationship with
Steven. Everything comes to a
funny climax at the wedding,
when Heidi's mildly psychotic
ex-boyfriend shows up, trying
to win her back. It's the cast
that makes this movie,
especially Brody as Steven,
Illeana Douglas as Heidi, and
Milla Jovovich as Fanny. Brody
is endearing, slightly creepy,
and hilarious, sometimes at
the same time. Douglas puts so
much zeal into her performance
that it's very easy to believe
that Heidi and Steven are
brother and sister. Jovovich,
despite the gratuitous foul
language of her character, is
a revelation of kookiness. Her
transformation into a moody
klezmer singer is fantastic.
The rest of the cast is also
excellent, including Jessica
Walter, who gives an
exceptional performance as
Heidi and Steven's irritating
mother. Writer and director
Greg Pritikin blends all these
quirky performances into a
convincing whole. He astutely
allows Steven and Heidi to
develop a warm respect for one
another eventually, despite
their differences. It's that
respect that plays a key role
at the end of the movie,
leading to good, positive
feelings all around. Steven
and Heidi are honorable,
likeable people. Although
there's a brief reference to
Steven's dad watching a porno
flick and a joke that Steven
looks like a child molester
with his little dummy, there's
no other sexual content and no
sexual nudity in DUMMY. There
is, however, lots of strong
foul language coming from
Steven's kooky friend Fanny.
Finally, the movie's worldview
is Romantic, in that it tells
viewers that it's best to
follow the desires of one's
heart, even when other people
ridicule those desires. The
desires here are all oriented
around one's personal career,
however, rather than any
higher, more worthy
cause. Please address your
comments to: Amir Malin,
CEO Artisan Entertainment 2700
Colorado Avenue, 2nd
Floor Santa Monica, CA
90404 Phone: (310)
449-9200 Fax: (310)
255-3810 Webpage:
www.artisanent.com

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 90 minutes

Distributor: Artisan Entertainment

Director: Greg Pritikin

Executive Producer:

Producer: Richard Temtchine and Bob Fagan

Writer: Greg Pritikin

Address Comments To:

Content:

(Ro, B, LLL, V, S, N, A, D, M) Romantic follow-your-dreams worldview with some moral elements, including a growing, positive bond between two siblings; about 66 mostly strong obscenities, seven strong profanities, and six light profanities; some comical violence including struggle over a gun and brief fighting; retired father watches obscured pornography on TV and a reference to a ventriloquist looking like a child molester; upper naturalistic male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, two dysfunctional families, vandalism, stalking, and mention of the ethnic stereotype of the Jewish American Princess or JAP.

GENRE: Romantic Comedy

Ro

B

LLL

N

A

D

M

V

S

Summary:

In DUMMY, Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody plays a nerdy 28-year-old Jewish man in New York, who quits his job in pursuit of a lifelong dream to be a ventriloquist. DUMMY contains many very funny situations and kooky, endearing characters, but it also has a lot of strong foul language, a couple sexual references, and is set in a secular Jewish environment with only a few clear-cut, positive moral elements.

Review:

There's something inherently hilarious yet very spooky about a person who makes their living as a ventriloquist, especially someone who decides to use a life-like wooden dummy with human features. DUMMY, starring Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody of THE PIANIST, often milks this schizophrenic quality for all its worth, even though it decidedly favors the comical undertones of its subject matter.

Brody plays 28-year-old Steven Schoichet, a white collar Jewish worker still living with his parents in New York who suddenly quits his job to pursue his desire to become a ventriloquist. His Jewish parents take all this in stride. His mom doesn't bat an eye, continually thrusting food in his face or yelling at him if he'd like a sandwich while he practices with his dummy. His retired father, meanwhile, is self-absorbed in building scale models of battleships. Only his sister Heidi, a wedding planner, finds Steven's fascination with ventriloquism disturbed and creepy. Later, the movie reveals that Heidi's desires to be a professional singer were squashed by their mother, who undermined Heidi's desires, calling them unrealistic.

Steven gets help from a pretty unemployment bureaucrat, Lorena. She finds Steven a manager and his first ventriloquist job, in front of a small group of shut-in senior citizens. Steven's friend from high school, a crazy, foul-mouthed punk rocker named Fanny, pushes Steven out of his shell. He begins a tentative relationship with Lorena, who happens to be the mother of a cute little girl, whose father got killed before Lorena and he could marry. Both Lorena and her daughter are charmed by Steven and his growing rapport with his nameless dummy. Steven, it turns out, actually has a fine-tuned sense of humor that gets stronger as the movie goes along.

When Heidi tells Steven's friend Fanny that the Jewish wedding she's planning requires a Yiddish klezmer band, Fanny jumps at the chance for a gig and begins intensely studying the jazzy, frenetic style of music with her band. Meanwhile, Lorena is having second thoughts about her growing relationship with Steven. Everything comes to a funny climax at the wedding, when Heidi's mildly psychotic ex-boyfriend shows up, trying to win her back.

It's the cast that makes this movie, especially Brody as Steven, Illeana Douglas as Heidi, and Milla Jovovich as Fanny. Brody is endearing, slightly creepy, and hilarious, sometimes at the same time. Douglas puts so much zeal into her performance that it's very easy to believe that Heidi and Steven are brother and sister. Jovovich, despite the gratuitous foul language of her character, is a revelation of kookiness. Her transformation into a moody klezmer singer is fantastic. The rest of the cast is also excellent, including Jessica Walter, who gives an exceptional performance as Heidi and Steven's irritating mother.

Writer and director Greg Pritikin blends all these quirky performances into a convincing whole. He astutely allows Steven and Heidi to develop a warm respect for one another eventually, despite their differences. It's that respect that plays a key role at the end of the movie, leading to good, positive feelings all around. Steven and Heidi are honorable, likeable people.

Although there's a brief reference to Steven's dad watching a porno flick and a joke that Steven looks like a child molester with his little dummy, there's no other sexual content and no sexual nudity in DUMMY. There is, however, lots of strong foul language coming from Steven's kooky friend Fanny. Finally, the movie's worldview is Romantic, in that it tells viewers that it's best to follow the desires of one's heart, even when other people ridicule those desires. The desires here are all oriented around one's personal career, however, rather than any higher, more worthy cause.

Please address your comments to:

Amir Malin, CEO

Artisan Entertainment

2700 Colorado Avenue, 2nd Floor

Santa Monica, CA 90404

Phone: (310) 449-9200

Fax: (310) 255-3810

Webpage: www.artisanent.com

SUMMARY: In DUMMY, Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody plays a nerdy 28-year-old Jewish man in New York, who quits his job in pursuit of a lifelong dream to be a ventriloquist. DUMMY contains many very funny situations and kooky, endearing characters, but it also has a lot of strong foul language, a couple sexual references, and is set in a secular Jewish environment with only a few clear-cut, positive moral elements.

In Brief: